Ok, so things have moved on a very, very great deal concerning the empasse between blogs and magazines. In fact, on the whole, things are positively friendly. We do what we’re good at, and they do what they’re good at. It’s undeniable that beauty blogs have – by sheer determination – carved a groove for themselves in the world of media, becoming a new way to read about beauty. It’s something I feel very proud of – to be part of a movement that has literally changed the way women (and men) read about, learn from and react to the world of beauty. But, it seems that not everyone is prepared to live and let live.
Illamasqua – you know that amazing beauty brand that has been SO supported by blogs from conception to present day – have decided to go down the magazine exclusive route, with a well known Sunday supplement that’s known to insist on exclusives. It’s not the first time, either, that Illamasqua have chosen the paper route, to announce a new collection. I’ve had to learn to share so called exclusives – and have come to several happy compromises where press and on-line print on the same day – when ideally what I want for BBB readers is first access to brands. But, I don’t see any sense in being at loggerheads with magazines. It’s a different thing. But, my goodness, I have had to fight tooth and nail in some cases to ensure coverage of a brand that’s nervous of upsetting print press. Since the advent of blogs, some brands have just thrown their hands in the air and said no exclusives to anyone. Which (much as I want an exclusive) does seem the fair route. Throwing your toys out of your pram and insisting (as one magazine did) that unless they have an exclusive they’ll never feature the brand at all puts everyone in an awkward position, from the PR through to the advertisers.
But, I feel particularly sore about Illamasqua because it truly is a brand that has been carried by bloggers particularly right at the beginning. I feel that not to remember your roots is arrogant to say the least, not to reward the bloggers (and I’m not just talking about BBB here by any means) who’ve helped you achieve the mass appeal (and put their money where their mouths are and bought into the brand) and to take the short-term gain is a bitter pill to swallow. So, see my toys being flung from my pram right now…I’m in no mood to feature Illamasqua again. In my view it just doesn’t seem right somehow to pick and choose where, when and how bloggers help to promote your brand. You can be sure that when the collection is no longer embargoed, they’ll head straight for the blogs. I don’t like to feel we are second best or part of a manipulated media strategy. So, I’m not playing.
Which I guess won’t move them one tiny bit, except when Sunday’s supplement hits the recycle box on Monday morning maybe. Blogs posts are there for ever.
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.
Great statement- very interesting read, thanks for sharing your experiences!! I’m too new to the blogging world to have an opinion but this is where I start.
Best, Sam xxx
They know they only have to send out a few free products to bloggers, who’ll then lap it up and provide all the publicity Illamasqua could ever want. Print obviously doesn’t roll over quite so easily.
How disappointing. I guess some brands think that bloggers will be there to support them forever regardless of where they place them on the media scale.
I think this really will bother Illamasqua, as you won’t be the only blogger to be affronted by this.
I love how you stick to your guns and tell it how it is. It’s a shame Illamasqua had to take it down that route. Question is will other blows follow your lead? I hope that they do. This makes sense. Make an example.out of one and the rest will notice that bloggers are a force to be reckoned with…
This post is one of the reasons this is one of my favourite blogs. Not afraid to speak the truth.
Honestly I would not have heard of Illasmaqua had it not been for blogger and youtube, to think they are not giving them credit now is kind of shocking.
It’s almost like “using” bloggers, which surely we will only see straight through.
Obviously companies are there to make money, but their principles and ethos to me as a consumer are a lot more important, as I’m sure they are to everyone else who buys their products.
Thanks for the post.
Thank you for writing about this as I’d have no other way of finding out. I recently devoted an entire week to reviews and swatches of Illamasqua products (including the several hundred dollars worth of products I personally bought). This really irritates me. I had always read that Illamasqua was on good terms with bloggers and have seen several post about how someone at the brand read their post and sent the items they mentioned.
Do you think this just happened because they wanted that supplement and couldn’t get it without an “exclusive”?
This comment has been removed by the author.
I know what you’re getting at but I think you’re dreaming somewhat. Brands will do what they think is best for them. We live in a capitalist world. And when it comes down to it – how many blogs have the reputation or readership of the Sunday Times?
And since we’re all being honest here, imho Illamasqua ain’t all they’re cracked up to be. Sorry.
I use to have the same issues when I was working in the music industry. I use to run a bands official website and the amount of times I would get frustrated with the record label for giving the video exclusive away BEFORE it went on the bands official website where all the fans are! Drove me nuts!
Working online and having to battle it out with the offline team was complicated as we both wanted to reach out to potential audiences.
Am hoping Illamasqua’s decision wasn’t an easy one to make and after reading this article and everyones comments I can imagine it’s even more difficult now having to deal with that decision.
Am still looking forward to seeing the new collection 🙂
I have to say it is a bit “toy-throwing”. You get freebies and give your opinion. You certainly haven’t “bought” them. Nor have they bought you. Unless you can quantify the business you generate and it’s substantial then they must do what they think best. If they are wise they’ll give the blogging community their own exclusive and keep everyone happy.
I think there are two separate groups of consumers. I get all my info from blogs. But there are others who rely on the mags. I don’t object to companies doing their own thing.
The first thing I ever heard of Illamasqua was from blogs/youtube, I love mags and blogs but generally if I want the truth about something quality wise I go for blog reviews 🙂
I’m with you…
All companies have a media strategy it’s ignorant to say otherwise. I work for a pet food company and we have a very structured strategy for marketing, PR and yes – blogger input. It’s the world, get used to it!
We are lucky to be contacted by brands, and the chance to get to know them. It should be an enjoyable experience not one for whinging and whining.
Other than principle, i don’t see the problem with the newspaper having the exclusive before your blog.
Most weekend newspapers have a circulation between 1 – 2 million. Illamasqua has got investors to please and competitors to impress. Securing a feature in a supplement is priority for most PR’s and brands, and will be for some time to come unless you are on the same playing field as the likes of Vogue.com.
If you have such a dedicated, loyal and large readership it shouldn’t matter who has the story before you. Also online media should be there to help support direct sales not just be the first to break news in order to gain more hits.
It is rather sad that Illamasqua cannot acknowledge the contribution that Beauty Bloggers make for brands. It is obvious that they’re behind on that, whereas brands like MAC, or even indie brands, are embracing beauty bloggers.
I’m with Rachel above. I think Illamasqua got the balance a wrong initially to be honest. Massive online presence/focus and very little editorial coverage that they really need to address which I guess is what they’re doing now. They’re still a company, they need to make cash like anyone else.
There is prestige attached to the weekend supplements. Can’t blame them for wanting in!
At the risk of sounding like one of those “wah wah why don’t I get freebies” bloggers, I remember being quite annoyed when Illamasqua blanked our tweets and emails when we tried to work with them, and left us entirely out of the loop when reaching out to bloggers with Body Electrics launch materials and samples. I’ve always been a fan and have written positive, supportive reviews and info articles from the start. I concluded, and still suspect, that their media strategy is more about audience numbers than community and relationships. I don’t think we had enough followers for them. And on a larger scale, I suspect that the exposure print can offer means that blogs will get pushed aside.